The number of rail passengers who think train tickets are worth the price has reached a record low, according to the rail regulator.
Only 41 per cent of passengers across the UK believe they get value for money from their rail journeys.
This slumps to 27 per cent for passengers in London and the South East, where many customers use services to commute into the capital.
The figures – released in a quarterly review from the Office of Rail Regulation – match similar low ratings in spring 2001 and spring 2005.
However, overall passenger satisfaction reached a record high of 80 per cent while 87 per cent of trains ran on time in the three months to June.
The report said: ‘At a time when service quality and overall passenger satisfaction are both improving, the consistently low satisfaction with value for money stands out.
‘Contributory factors may include the complex range of fares available and a low awareness of available discounts. This will need to be addressed with care to avoid losing the benefits of consume choice.’
A Which? survey last October found that about 47 per cent of rail users had been put off making a rail journey in the previous two years because of high fares.
In an interview in the June edition of Which?, Transport Minister Dr Stephen Ladyman conceded that rail fares were sometimes too expensive, but said the government was subsidising the railways to the tune of £87 million a week.